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Looking for a recommendation on a new camera bag

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Category: Equipment forums
Forum Name: Other photographic topics
Forum Description: Miscellaneous photographic topics
Printed Date: 09 December 2019 at 09:55

Topic: Looking for a recommendation on a new camera bag
Posted By: mezman
Subject: Looking for a recommendation on a new camera bag
Date Posted: 17 June 2019 at 21:04
Howdy Dyxumers!

I'd like to crowdsource some opinions about getting a new backpack to carry around my gear. I've been rocking a Lowepro Slingshot bag for the past decade but I'm tired of only having one strap across my shoulder, well, shouldering all the weight of my kit. I'm going to be going on a two week trip to Ireland in early August and want a new bag for carrying around an abbreviated selection while touring.

So, who has a double strap backpack that they really like and suggest? I'd like to be able to carry my A7RIII with 24-105/4 attached, my 70-300, and a 16-35/4. Maybe an additional prime like the 55/1.8 as well. I don't need a bag that can hold EVERYTHING I own, I have another bag that can do that for when I need to take it all with me.

I've looked at the Peak Design Everyday backpack but have heard from folk that they are not as comfortable as you'd think for a $200+ bag. One feature I need is the ability to access my stuff without having to lay down the bag on something and unzip it to get at things.

Thanks in advance for your time!


A7R III - FE 24-105/4, FE 70-300/4.5-5.6, FE 85/1.8, FE 55/1.8Z, LA-EA3 for MAF 20/2.8 and MAF 100/2.8 Macro

Matt Kennedy - Kennedy Photography

Posted By: stiuskr
Date Posted: 17 June 2019 at 23:56
My suggestion is that no matter how minimal of a kit you want to pack you should get a full length backpack with a waist belt just for your lower back's sake. I'd also suggest to broaden your search to include tactical carry backpacks and traditional hiking backpacks, for the last decade or so my main camera bag is a sling-type design tactical carry Maxpedition (now discontinued) Colossus Versipack and my lens pouches are their water bottle holders. -

Rob Suits Jr.
a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2

Posted By: C_N_RED_AGAIN
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 04:16
Thatís funny you say that. My outdoor camera bag for the last few years is an osprey backpack designed for hiking. Just feel itís more comfortable than some of the traditional camera backpacks Iíve had over the years

Posted By: Miranda F
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 08:34
I can't say I've found a bag that meets all your requirements. I have a medium-sized Lowepro backpack with two straps, plus waist strap, plus straps for a tripod, but you can't access it while wearing it.
My favourite bag is a Manfrotto - NX shoulder bag which you can swing around to access without taking it off, but that's only one strap; also it doesn't have enough dedicated lens storage to be a main camera bag, so I tend to use the backpack as carryable storage and the Manfrotto as a day bag with a camera/lens and one spare lens, plus a few other bits and pieces (battery, filter, mini-tripod). But it has room for a drink, a book, and some mini-binocs/sunglasses/etc. And I can add another padded insert for other lenses if I take the SOny e-reader instead of the book.

Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .

Posted By: Mark Twain
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 10:24
Maybe you would like to have a look at the - Mindshift Horizon ? I know it costs a fortune but it should suit all your needs. The biggest advantage is that you can access your gear all the time without putting it down. A very versatile bag.

I have chosen a different way. When going hiking I use backpacks also used by the Austrian army. They are pretty cheap but good quality and I carry the camera with my - BlackRapid "Backpack Breathe" so that I can easily access it all the time. A second lens (usually I go with my A7 + FE1635/4 + FE70200/4) is in a small lens bag mounted on my backpack strap. Way cheaper than dedicated photoraphy bags.

How extensive are your tours going to be?

Posted By: Hezu
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 11:42
I have some experience with that Peak Design Everyday Backpack you mention - or more specifically the 20L model. I bought it as a smaller bag for times when it is not practical to haul the bigger backpacks (I have also Gura Gear Bataflae 32L and F-Stop Tilopa BC). I still have bit mixed feelings on Everyday Backpack: it looks nice and there is many nice details including the side and top access, but on the other hand way too often I have trouble to configure the innards so that I could easily fit in the camera equipment I would like to carry, especially when I would like to include some larger lenses (and FE 4/24-105 G OSS and FE 4.5-5.6/70-300 G OSS are among the culprits in my repertoire too).

------------- - Galerie Hezu

Posted By: jvandegr
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 13:54
In my experience, and I've tried just about everything, Tamrac makes the best fitting camera backpacks. They are actually designed and constructed as a quality hiking or trekking backpack would be. Some of their design principles carry over from my mountaineering backpacks. The Slim 15 works particularly well for a mirrorless rig. Think Tank Photo makes some decent shoulder bags, but their backpacks leave a lot to be desired and I recommend staying away from them at the moment. The top-of-the-line LowePro bags are also quite good as they seem to be taking some cues from Lowe Alpine (which is a separate company). You have to spend a few hundred dollars to get the quality fit and design, but they're probably worth it.

Have a good trip, I hope you enjoy Ireland.

Jon Van de Grift
Geographer and Documentary Photographer

Posted By: Conny1
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 14:14
No recommendation on a camere bag, but this German website was always helpful for my needs: -

Posted By: AudioDoc
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 16:12
There is no correct or easy answer to your question, because camera bags are such a personal thing. Like many photographers, I have a closet full of camera bags and backpacks and none of them are perfect or suitable for all occasions. Also I find that even though Mirrorless cameras have become quite popular, most backpacks are designed for DSLRs.

Personally I'm not crazy about backpacks for traveling because with most of them its too difficult access your gear. Most of them you have to take the back pack off to access. I recommend one that loads on the inside and you can slip the sholder harnesses off and turn it around on your waist to access the gear, like my Lowepro Flipside sport 10L wich is no longer made but you may consider the newer models here: - Lowepro Flipside

When I travel I like to carry only the essentials in a small sholder bag or the Manfrotto sling bag - My A7III, a couple lens and mini tripod fit snuggly in this. I don't have the 24-105 f4 so I don't how well that will fit. I use my 24-70 f4 and my Zeiss Batis 40 the most.

Most of the time I go with my old - Lowepro Nova 180

Best if you can visit a good store that has bags that you can try. What is good for us, may not work for you.

Kind regards,


Posted By: bonneville
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 16:33
I have had a lot of bags over the years and was in the market for a new bag a couple of years ago for a photo trip to Iceland. I bought the Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 450 AW (see AudioDoc's link in previous post) and it is the best bag I have ever used.

If it is too large/expensive they also make the 350 and 250 which are identical in design, just smaller. Outstanding comfort and has many unique features. See their website and videos. You could do a lot worse.

------------- - As You Were!

Posted By: mezman
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 17:58
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

I hadn't considered MindShift or CCW backpacks.

Question for those that are recommending that I get a tactical backpack: First, how do you hold your equipment in the backpack? Tea towels wrapping stuff or T-shirts?

Has anyone any experience with the LowePro ProTactic pack? - ProTactic BP 350 AW II

In my searches, this one from ThinkTank looks like it fits what I'm looking for. Anyone have any experience with the - PhotoCross 15 backpack?

Originally posted by Hezu Hezu wrote:

I have some experience with that Peak Design Everyday Backpack you mention

Hezu, once you get it set up though with the interior pockets, how comfortable is it to wear for an extended period?

A7R III - FE 24-105/4, FE 70-300/4.5-5.6, FE 85/1.8, FE 55/1.8Z, LA-EA3 for MAF 20/2.8 and MAF 100/2.8 Macro

Matt Kennedy - Kennedy Photography

Posted By: Hezu
Date Posted: 18 June 2019 at 20:41
Originally posted by mezman mezman wrote:

Originally posted by Hezu Hezu wrote:

I have some experience with that Peak Design Everyday Backpack you mention

Hezu, once you get it set up though with the interior pockets, how comfortable is it to wear for an extended period?
With a modest load it is quite fine, more weight and the fairly thin shoulder straps and the very thin waist strap start to show their weaknesses. The latter is by default stowed away in side pockets.

------------- - Galerie Hezu

Posted By: mezman
Date Posted: 11 July 2019 at 23:29
Just to close the loop on this, I ended up buying a Peak Design 20L Everyday Backpack. It's pretty trendy, I know, but it also seemed to have the least compromises for what I want and my use case, complaints about the shoulder straps notwithstanding.

Thanks for the input everyone!

A7R III - FE 24-105/4, FE 70-300/4.5-5.6, FE 85/1.8, FE 55/1.8Z, LA-EA3 for MAF 20/2.8 and MAF 100/2.8 Macro

Matt Kennedy - Kennedy Photography

Posted By: adhox
Date Posted: 12 July 2019 at 01:50
Too late for the OP, but I'm another fan of the LowePro Flipside Treks. I find them reasonably comfortable to carry all day. I usually don't bother to do the "flipside twist" to access my equipment, but it works well enough when I do. If I'm using a lightweight kit then the side pockets will hold a tripod but not the larger tripod I use for my A99ii.

The 250 is my regular go to bag. I don't usually put my camera in it - that's in my hand, or maybe slung across my shoulder - but I use it for my extra lenses, batteries, filters, etc. It happily holds my 16-35/2.8Z & 70-300G plus extra bits. If I'm using E-mount, then there's plenty of room for a reasonable kit including the 70-200/4G if it's going to be that kind of day. The upper and outer compartments are used for non-photo items.

The 350 is less used, but obviously holds either bigger (70-200/2.8G, 70-400G) or more lenses. That's actually why it is less used - if I have room for another lens there's a risk that I'll pack one, and then return home at the end of the day without touching it. Am I the only person who sometimes takes a pointless image late in a day just to use a lens that I've carried around all day?

Was Atom Ant Oz
A99ii + 16-35Z | 24-70Z | 24-105D | 70-200G | 100-300D | 70-300G | 70-400G
20/2.8 | 28/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 300/4 | 500/8
A6500 + 10-18 | 16-70Z | 18-135 | 70-200/4G
28/2 | 56/1.4 | 85/1

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